My name is Lily-Sue, but my mummy calls me Munchkin (or 'Munch' for short!) I am 8 years old, and this is where my mummy will help me write all about all the fun things we do together. I hope you enjoy reading about the adventures of my mummy and me, Munchkin, with the occasional appearance from the siblings - Beastie and Plumlet.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Caption Saturday

Saturday, 26th November, 2011

Feeling a little sentimental this week whilst looking through Munchkin's baby photos, so thought I would allow this to influence my #SatCap contribution. Not too sure what Munchkin was dreaming about here, at just 2 days old ...?

Maybe you have some ideas?!

And to see the home of #CapSat and view some other great entries, click here .....

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Reach to the Stars with CBeebies Live! Mister Maker joins the fun!!

CBeebies Live! ‘Reach to the Stars’ Tour 2012!!

Last month, we were pleased to bring you news of a wonderful live show touring the UK in 2012, where a host of the biggest stars from Britain’s most popular children’s channel CBeebies are coming out to play in a brand new arena spectacular CBeebies Live! ‘Reach to the Stars’. More details of what promises to be a fantastic show can be found in my earlier post.

We are very excited at receiving the great news that the much loved Mister Maker is now joining in the fun and will perform alongside his fellow CBeebies characters to bring children and adults alike a truly memorable experience! And the word is also out that, due to the popular demand for tickets, an extra date has been set for an additional performance at the SECC, Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow.

CBeebies’ favourite making-man, Mister Maker, is packing up his craft box and taking his artistic talents on the road to join the channel’s biggest stars in the brand new arena spectacular CBeebies Live! ‘Reach to the Stars’. Fun, inspirational and very good with his hands, Mister Maker has just been confirmed as part of the stellar line-up for this 9-city UK arena tour from 31 March to 14 April 2012. With strong advance tickets sales since the on-sale date of 7 October, an extra performance has been added to the Glasgow run to keep up with demand. For the revised schedule please see the listings grid below. 

This autumn’s box office activity suggests that CBeebies Live! ‘Reach to the Stars’ will be one of the hot children’s theatre tickets in 2012!

Joining Mister Maker will be Justin Fletcher MBE, Postman Pat with Jess the Cat and the ZingZillas, together with CBeebies presenters Andy Day, Katy Ashworth and Andrew Agnew in this all-action show. Combining big screen video footage and live performance, a host of CBeebies favourites including Squiglet and Robbie Rotten, Stephanie and Sportacus from LazyTown will join in the fun, interacting with the audience for an incredible live experience. Robbie Rotten is determined to show that he is the biggest star on CBeebies!

His dastardly plan involves the capture of the other CBeebies characters and it’s up to the audience to work with PC Plum and the rest of the stars of CBeebies to find out what has happened and set them free. Action-packed and full of surprises, the whole family will enjoy singing along and dancing in the aisles!

Mister Maker said: 
I can’t wait to get out and about with my gloopy glue and sticky tape to help put an end to Robbie Rotten’s nasty old tricks. I’m sure we can come up with all kinds of super crafty ways to sort him out with the help of all my mini-makers in the audience!

CBeebies Live! ‘Reach to the Stars’ will begin its UK-wide tour at Wembley Arena on the 31st March 2012 before travelling to a further eight cities. It marks the first CBeebies Live! arena tour since 2008. More than 550, 000 people have attended a CBeebies Live! show to date and CBeebies Live! ‘Reach to the Stars’ promises to be an even bigger spectacular with an all-new show, massive video screen and more audience interaction than ever before!

Children’s tickets from £12.50 and family tickets (for 4 people) from £50 (subject to booking fee).

For tickets or more information about the show visit: www.CBeebiesLive.com

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

WIN Panto Tickets for Cinderella (Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch)

It’s nearly panto time at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch ...
 "Oh yes it is!" 

Families won’t want to miss this year’s fun-packed festive tale, Cinderella, playing from 3 December, 2011 – 14 January, 2012.

Boys and girls of all ages can join kind Cinderella on an exciting adventure from rags to riches as The Fairy Godmother transforms her into a dazzling beauty fit for a Prince! There’s no more scrubbing for Cinders, she’s off to The Ball and everyone’s invited!

From enchanted pumpkins to lost crystal slippers, there’ll be magic, mayhem and comedy capers in the best panto in town this Christmas - starring the Queen’s professional resident company of actor-musicians, cut to the chase.

The whole family can cheer, boo and laugh at all their favourite panto characters - the riotously wicked Ugly Sisters, stupendously silly Buttons, dashing Prince Charming, thigh-slapping Dandini and bumbling Baron Hardup. And supporting the professional cut to the chase… cast is a Young Company of 24 super-talented local schoolchildren, who’ll be singing, dancing and playing various small roles.

Written and directed by Queen’s Artistic Director Bob Carlton with music and lyrics by Queen’s Musical Director Carol SlomanCinderella is full of catchy songs, spectacular sets, colourful costumes, side-splitting slapstick and loads of audience participation! For nearly 60 years, the Queen’s has been producing hugely popular Christmas pantomimes enjoyed by young and old, so families are guaranteed plenty of top-quality, traditional festive entertainment!

Cinderella stars cut to the chase… company members Natasha Moore as Cinderella, Niall Costigan as Prince Charming, Simon Jessop and Tom Jude as the Ugly Sisters,  Karen Fisher-Pollard as Fairy Godmother, Mark Stanford as Buttons, Stuart Organ as Baron Hardup, Callum Hughes as Dandini, with Robert MaloneyCarol Sloman and Al Twist as musicians.

This production is written and directed by Queen’s Theatre Artistic Director Bob Carlton, with set and costume design by Mark Walters, musical direction by Carol Sloman, lighting design by Mark Dymock, sound design by Nik Dudley, with Andy Smart as associate sound designer, choreography by Donna Berlin and with Hannah Welch as assistant choreographer.

Cinderella will be performed at the Queen’s TheatreBillet LaneHornchurch from 3 December - 14 January. Tickets are £14 £21.50, with discounts for groups and families. Call the Box Office on 01708 443333 or visit www.queens-theatre.co.uk

Competition Time!!

Here at The Hart of the Munchkin Patch, we are really excited to be going to see Cinderella at The Queen's Theatre at the beginning of December. We are also delighted to offer one of our lucky readers an opportunity to win a Family Ticket (up to 4 seats) to see this wonderful pantomime in January 2012. What better way to beat those 'New Year Blues' than a good family evening at the theatre?! For some photographs of the standard of performance held at the family friendly Queen's Theatre, take a look at the pictures from previous panto spectaculars!! The prize details are as follows:

Performance Date:    Wednesday, 4th January, 2012
Performance Time:    6.30pm
Address of Venue:    Queen's Theatre, Billet LaneHornchurch RM11 1QT
Prize:                     1 Family Ticket (up to 4 seats) 
All you need to do to enter is fill in the entry form below, completing the mandatory steps, and the optional steps for bonus entries!

Good Luck Everybody!!

Competition Closed!

Thank you to everyone who entered this wonderful competition. Our review of this fantastic production can be found HERE. Our experience at the Queens Theatre was truly magical and one that we will never forget. The family atmosphere at the venue is just perfect and I am sure that the winner will enjoy a simply dazzling experience!

Congratulations to our winner Kelly Butterworth! You have won the Family Ticket to see Cinderella at the Queens Theatre on Wednesday 4th January, 2012! Well done! Please email me at munchkinhart@gmail.com with your address and I will arrange for your tickets to be sent out to you! I hope you have as much fun as we did!!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

And it begins ... "I Want one of those ...!"

As most of you may know, I am 2 years old. I like the usual things that a 2 year old girl likes: I like my toys (especially the noisy ones!), my books (especially the noisy ones!), and going to the park. I like my Fudgy Bear, seeing my nanna and granddad and having long 'mummy cuddles' on the sofa whilst watching a Winnie the Pooh DVD. 

However, whilst having some TV time with mummy today, I made a mammoth discovery ....

Why did nobody tell me ....???
Watching Bubble Guppies on Nick Jr was nothing out of the ordinary. It was an episode I had never seen before, but nobody had prepared me for what came after my 20 minutes of routine singing and dancing to the sounds of Mr Grouper and the Guppies. 

Adverts ...? What are these adverts ...?
Right, so these are just the time fillers that break up my favourite programmes, yes? The bits I take no notice of, my cue to switch off, switch my attention and find something else to do. That's how it works ... right?

Not today. Today I found a whole new appreciation, built a whole new opinion, developed a whole new understanding about these little 'time fillers' that frequently result in me grabbing my noisiest toy to drown out the sound of endless information about things that aren't Bubble Guppies, Peppa Pig or Team Umizoomi. 

These little clips of 'nothingness' had toys! 

"Why has no one ever told me about this?"

Oooh, whats that ...? Milky the Bunny ...? I want a Milky the Bunny ...!

Oooh, what's that ...? A Paper Jamz Rock Girl Pink Microphone ...? I want a Paper Jamz Rock Girl Pink Microphone ...! I'm not sure why. I'm only 2. But right now, it's on my telly and I want one!

Oooh, what's that ...? An Ozbozz My First Scooter - in PINK ...? I neeeed an Ozbozz My First Scooter ... in pink ...!!

Mummy thought she was winning in her fight against TV advertising. I don't watch lots of telly, and until today, these 'advert' things really weren't of any interest to me. But now I know they are there ... in between every single programme. 4 - 5 minutes of pure product pushing! Toys, toys, toys and more toys! Of course, many of the toys shown are not necessarily suitable for me. I am 2, so would have little use for a set of Hot Wheels Wall Tracks right now, but they look like fun, and they're on my telly, so I want that too!!

This is a little reminder for mummy and daddy, and maybe even a subtle warning ... You can't hide these things from me! The people inside these adverts are trying to tell me things ... wanting to show me things ... willing you to buy things, and all this time I never even knew they were there!! But that all changed today. Today, I listened to their messages, watched their colours and felt the temptation induced by the sheer, unmeasurable joy on the faces of the children on the screen. Mummy and daddy, nanna and granddad, in fact anyone that fancies listening, I have a little announcement to make that I hope sums up what I have learnt from this afternoon's events ...

Just saying ... in case you needed to know!

This is not a sponsored post

Monday, 7 November 2011

POYNT - On a Device Near You!

Poynt is the award-winning, all-in-one, free local search App that connects consumers to businesses, retailers, movie theatres, restaurants, people, weather and local events, whenever and wherever they're needed.

With all the kids now back at school, time will be precious- and any timesaving applications are always welcomed!

This is a FANTASTIC  mobile app to meet the busy back to school rush that parents face- the application is called Poynt and is completely free!
 Poynt is a local search application which allows you to find businesses, restaurants, cinemas and events in your local area and will even provide directions to them for you.
 The Poynt app is ideal for busy parents for a number of reasons: 

      Find doctors, pharmacies, crèches, swimming pools, museums, zoos,      
      cinemas, ice rinks, restaurants, etc   
      Search for local family events – fairs, fetes, bonfire night celebrations

      Book tickets for cinema and other leisure activities

      Make a restaurant booking

      The app is available on all mobile platforms

SAVE TIME - Avoid copy and pasting details – MAKE CALLS DRIECT FROM APP!!!
 You can find out all detail via the Poynt website at http://poynt.com/However, below is a list of a few of the key USPs:
      Poynt is completely free to use.

      It offers users the chance to find businesses, cinemas, restaurants and 
      events in the local area.
      Poynt is available in eight countries – USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany,   
      Spain, Italy and Australia and will shortly be available in India.

      Whichever country you are in the directions and info will all appear in 
      English if you are English or in the local language if requested.

      Poynt is available on the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Blackberry Playbook , 
      Nokia QT, Windows Phone 7 and Android.

      The app is deeply integrated with the handset so that you can add details
      to your contacts and calendar, call businesses, share the details via email
      Twitter and Facebook with friends and send invites all within the app itself

          iPhone features call gesture to call restaurants, cinemas, businesses etc. by 
    holding the handset to your ear
           AR which allows you to walk to your chosen destination with arrows pointing  
    the way – ideal if you are visiting a new location

Blackberry Playbook
         Allows you to pair your Blackberry device with the Playbook to add people to 
   your contacts and calendar

I decided to put the Poynt Application to the test last week when I was searching the local area for activities for my 2 year old daughter. I opened the application, and once it had searched my current location, it took me to an attractive menu screen which offered me 4 options: Businesses, Events, Restaurants and Movies, as well as displaying the local weather conditions and temperature. 

After selecting 'Businesses', I was taken to a Search Bar where I could enter my search words. When I typed 'Children's Centre' into the search bar, I was presented with a list of local results including their distance from my current location in kms. Above this list of results were 2 sponsored results selected by Thomson Local, both of which were reasonably nearby. On opening the business that seemed most suitable, I was given the address and telephone number of the children's centre, but also had the option to call them directly from the App, saving me from having to copy & paste the details. I was also given a Map and Directions information that would lead me straight to where I want to go. 

Poynt is easy and convenient to use and is great for finding locations in and around your local area (and beyond) which you may not have discovered before. And best of all, it's FREE! Give it a go and see in which direction this new App will POYNT you today!

This is not a sponsored post

Saturday, 5 November 2011

WIN 1 of 3 letters with love from Peppa, Pooh and Disney Princesses from Hart & Design!

The brains and the creative fingers behind Hart and Design is Neil Hart, who has been digitally designing for many years, but on a small scale. It all started a number of years ago when he became interested and involved in a design forum where he spent time designing forum sigs and graphics for people he met along the way. Eventually, his work was recognised by people who wanted graphics designed for their websites and forums. After spending a number of years as an active member of the much loved DeviantArt.com, and receiving a continuous stream of encouragement and appreciation for his talent, he recognised that his love for art ran deeper than he had thought. This is when he started to explore his love for photography. He was greatly inspired and encouraged by long standing professional photographer, Barrie Tumbridge, who helped him to realise his potential and to develop it as far as he could. With trips to various parts of the country ...

Macro (Close up) Photography is definitely a speciality, as this blade of grass and dew drop demonstrates!

... and the birth of his beautiful daughter ...

The patter of tiny feet must be inspiring to any photographer!

... Neil gradually found himself with more and more opportunities to demonstrate his creative gift, as well as enhancing his results by combining his love for both photography and digital design to create some wonderfully unique pieces of art! And, in 2009, his work was even more widely recognised as he came Runner-Up in (Macro) Digital Photographer of the Year with this beautiful, eye-catching piece ...

A single dandelion seed holding a tiny water droplet!

More recently, and since his daughter has reached the age of 2, Neil has turned his attention to more child focused work. Never leaving his camera in its case for too long, he has started to work in a way to appeal to a younger audience, creating items that he would make for his own daughter and the children in his family, and that he believes would be popular items amongst many children of many ages. 

Customizable, fully personalised letters to AND from Santa

One of the wonderful things about the work he does is that everything he makes is fully customizable! You can choose every aspect of your item, whether it is a greeting card, party invitations, or his most recent designs - the personalised letters to your child from their favourite character(s).

Personalised Character Letters to your child

Here at The Hart of the Munchkin Patch, we think these are a really lovely idea, as the design possibilities are endless! They can be used as a good behaviour reminder, encouragement if your child is toilet training, struggling with the transition from cot to bed, settling into a new playgroup or school, or as a confidence builder for ANY other reason. They would also make a great treat for a child that deserves praise for good behaviour or as a special reward for personal achievements. Your child could also receive a unique, personalised letter from their favourite character(s) to wish them Happy Birthday when their special day arrives! And the character options are not limited to Peppa and George. How about Disney Princesses, Disney Cars, Barbie or Ben 10

I love the work that Neil does at Hart & Design, and I hope that you do too. Although he has started to concentrate more on his digital talents, we know that his love for photography has not, and will never die. With a daughter as photogenic as his, how could he ever abandon the camera ...?

For those of you that don't know me personally, and for those that haven't made the connection yet, Mr Hart & Design (Neil Hart) is more commonly known in this household as 'Daddy'! Yes, he is my partner and daddy of our darling Munchkin! We are very proud of the work he is doing and that he has started to make his creations more widely available to allow more than just friends and family to benefit from his wonderful talent! And, of course, it goes without saying that his photography inspiration, and the man who led him down the path he always believed he wouldn't be good enough to travel, is my wonderful dad, and the other most important man in Munchkin's life!

To celebrate Neil's new Facebook Page, and the fact that it has received interest and orders in the short space of time that it has been running, he has decided that he would like to give something back to the people that have been supporting him so much!


Hart & Design would like to offer a competition to the readers of The Hart of the Munchkin Patch! THREE lucky readers will win a personalised character letter of their choice for their child(ren) You can choose the character, the message, and have it looking exactly the way you wish! To enter the Giveaway and be in with one of three chances of winning this lovely item, see the requirements below. 

Competition Closed!

A huge thank you to everyone that entered this competition! The 3 winners have been randomly selected by Rafflecopter and are listed below. Congratulations to Rachel, Sarah and Georgina! Please send an email to hartandesign@gmail.com listing the following details:

Chosen design (if you would like a design that is not yet shown on Hart & Design's Facebook Page, I have been assured that this is fine, as ALL designs will be considered!)
Child's name (if you would like more than one name on the letter, this is also fine)
Reason for letter and any special wording you would like.
Your address.

A low quality draft will be sent to you via email for your approval before your letter is printed and sent to your chosen address.

Congratulations and thanks to you all!!

Caption Saturday!

Saturday 5th November, 2011

I haven't posted my #CapSat contribution for a couple of weeks now! So while I hang my head and sit myself on the Naughty Step for a couple of hours, pondering my failings, here is my submission for this week!! 

Please feel free to add your captions to my photo!